News had been circulating on social media in the last day or so, but this morning Charlton confirmed the very sad news that former Charlton striker, David Whyte, has passed away at the ridiculously young age of 43.
It was back on the 22nd of October 1994, on a windy, grey and gloomy Saturday afternoon at the Valley that David Whyte scored Charlton's goal in a 2-1 defeat to Burnley. It was the very first Charlton goal that I ever saw in person. It was also my first ever visit to the Valley, a stadium I'd fallen in love with as a small boy. It was a day I will never ever forget, even in defeat.
Almost two years on to the day, I missed arguably David Whyte's most memorable goal for Charlton, against Liverpool at the Valley in the League cup. Despite being a regular to home games at the time the game was all-ticket and the Valley had sold out it's 15,000 seats before I could get hold of one. I travelled to the Valley that night and stood outside the gates pre-match pleading with Addicks for a spare. It wasn't to be. Knowing I'd missed David's goal in front of a packed Valley was the reason I finally committed to a season ticket, which I've held every year since.
In the three years that David Whyte continued to play for Charlton he became a firm favourite of mine. I always wondered what held him back from playing at a higher level than us. I still wonder that to this day. I don't think David realised how good he was, or perhaps nobody was able to get it out of him.
According to the club, Whyte played 106 times for The Addicks, scoring 35 times. A decent strike rate for a very decent striker. David Whyte was a proper goal scorer, capable of moments of real brilliance.
Rest in peace, David. My thoughts to your family and your friends. I shall raise a glass to you tonight...David Whyte, Whyte, Whyte!